The Northern Stars finished their round two ANZ Premiership match with six players as the Mystics won 60-54.
In a crucial moment in the match with the Stars trailing by two goals, Fa’amu Ioane was sent off with seven minutes remaining. The umpires ruled deliberate and dangerous play.
Head Coach Kiri Wills felt the call was harsh.
“Mu (Fa’amu) was genuinely going for the ball looking for an intercept, it wasn’t deliberate or late like a lot of other contacts in the context of the game.
In the first showdown in the Barfoot and Thompson Northern Challenge, the Stars showed determination to not let the home team establish momentum.
Maia Wilson had another strong match in the shooting circle, finishing with 36 from 39 attempts for a 92% success rate.
“I’m a harsh critic of my performance, 36 goals, I think I should’ve shot more but having two quality goal attacks out the front was great.”
Wilson was adamant a victory for the team is on the horizon.
“I have a lot of belief in this team and I know we can get a win.”
Paula Griffin earned a start in the goal attack position as the Stars raced out of the blocks, posting three quick goals before the Mystics established early momentum, but turnovers proved costly.
The Mystics went into the first break with a two goal lead 12-10.
Wills commented that after a flustered first quarter, she was proud with how the team came back.
“We started to move the ball around and play some clinical netball and that tended to get the ball in easily to our shooters.”
“To only go down by six to the Mystics with only six players on court, we’re doing something right,” says Wills.
Olivia Coughlin was brought on in the 2nd quarter, moving Ama Agbeze out to goal defence to slow down the run of goals from Maria Folau and Bailey Mes.
Holly Fowler and Emma Iversen shared center position duties with both combinations showing promising connectionS with captain Grace Kara.
Next up for the Northern Stars is a rematch against the Tactix in Christchurch on May 23rd at 7.40pm.
Next Home Match:
Sunday 27th May – Northern Stars v Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic
Venue: Pulman Arena, Auckland
Purchase Tickets Here